North Yarmouth Board of Selectmen election still tied after recount; special runoff set

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NORTH YARMOUTH — A Board of Selectmen election that ended in a tie between two candidates remained tied after a recount Friday.

Peter Lacy and incumbent Selectman Jim Moulton each received 408 votes on June 14. On June 24, with previously uncounted ballots included, they tied again: 409-409.

One ballot was signed by the voter and disqualified from Friday’s count in accordance with state law. The ballot, a vote for Moulton, would have broken the tie.

Anticipating the possibility of another tie, the Board of Selectmen has already scheduled a special runoff election for Aug. 2.

Lacy and Moulton trailed Anne Graham, who received 796 votes on June 14. They were among five candidates running for two, three-year terms on the board; Nelson Smith received 299 votes, and Paul Metevier 164.

Friday’s recount, requested by Lacy, took about 2 1/2 hours. Each candidate had three supporters at the Town Hall recount. People from each side were mixed into groups of three, with one person counting out loud, one tallying, and one overseeing.

The counter and recorder then switched roles and counted the ballots again. A total of 1,362 ballots were counted.

“Lacy, Moulton,” went one typical verbal count, if both candidates received votes on a ballot.

“Moulton, blank,” or “Lacy, blank,” if only candidate got a vote.

“Blank, blank,” if no one did.

One person joked about having nightmares about the word “blank,” having heard it repeated so many times that morning.

Despite the tedium and meticulousness of the process, the counters were good-natured, at first playfully ribbing Lacy for requesting the recount that kept them inside on a beautiful summer morning. As the tally went on, some expressed sympathy for those who will participate in June 28 recount of the Republican primary between Mark Holbrook and Ande Smith in the 1st Congressional District, where there will be many more ballots to review over several days.

Voting in the Aug. 2 runoff will be from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m., using paper ballots, and will cost about $500, according to Town Manager Rosemary Roy.

Moulton will continue to serve on the board until June 30, when a temporary vacancy will be created, Roy said.

Moulton did not attend the recount. Lacy, who attended with Roy and Fire Chief Greg Payson, said he was “a little frustrated” at another tie, but acknowledged that “the votes are the votes; there’s nothing you can do about them.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Stacey Ruby, one of North Yarmouth’s administrative support assistants, reviews ballot boxes with candidate Peter Lacy before a recount June 24 of votes for the Board of Selectmen. Lacy and incumbent Selectman Jim Moulton tied with 408 votes each in the June 14 election, prompting Lacy to request a recount.

Vote counters reviewed 1,362 ballots in North Yarmouth on Friday, June 24.

Each candidate was represented by three people during the June 24 recount in North Yarmouth. Paul Hodgetts, at center, and Patrick Gilligan, right, were among the crew.

Melissa Henes and Stacey Ruby, administrative support assistants for North Yarmouth, tally the totals after the June 24 recount concluded.

A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.